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Hello and I hope you are having good weather – we are having a minor heat wave here which is very nice.

Hope it continues for the weekend as we have our first ever show at Peveril Castle and we are not going to have much shelter as it is right on top of a hill so the tents will be miles away!

Spent last weekend at home so decided to have a ‘ Christmas in July ‘ afternoon with friends from my knitting group here in sunny Marsden.

Sue, Sharon and Sammy (other people with names not beginning with S were invited but couldn’t make it) all came round for a few hours of crafty loveliness and a bit of light refreshment ;-)

I showed them how to do the lovely baubles from Springwood House Designs and my little stocking designs and we were away playing with fabric.

Xmas in July Sharon

Xmas in July Sue

Xmas in July Sharon and Sue

They were very talented, Sue made a beautiful blue and silver bauble and Sharon proved herself to be the fastest bauble maker in the West (Yorkshire) with two produced that you can see on the left here, one traditional holly patterned and another Scandi style burgundy one.

Sammy’s is the red and gold bauble on the right and I stuck to my good old traditional colours for the one at the back – I do love a bit of red, green and gold!

Xmas in July Ornaments

We had a little seasonal feast as well with mince pies, ginger and chocolate cupcakes , rocky road and crispy cakes and pigs in blankets accompanied by Prosecco and mulled wine (which tastes very good cold!)

Xmas in July

A lovely afternoon and one we will repeat a bit nearer the actual festive season as we have lots of things to make for friends, family and fund raising at craft stalls.

Thanks for visiting and will be back next week with hopefully some pictures of a lovely sunny re-enactment event!

There will always be textiles wherever I go as not only are they important and many of the places I visit have them on display as part of the social history of the location but also I do sometimes seek them out ;-)

However this holiday I had some very pleasant surprises on the textile front as I found some when I wasn’t even looking for them :-)

The first nice surprise was this beautiful sampler which had been done by Margarete the lady who ran the hotel we stayed in Germany. She was in her 70s and the hotel has been in her family for over 100 years.

Bavaria 2014 Langenau sampler

I couldn’t help thinking that she must have had a pretty hard life, she was on duty about 15 hours a day when we were there and I hope that at some points they got to close the hotel and have a holiday themselves.

I like to imagine that she stitched this in her free time and it gave her pleasure and helped her relax, it is a beautifully stitched piece and she was obviously proud of it as it was hung in the bar area.

Then we had our unexpected trip to the Steiff Teddy Bear Museum  which was an optional trip on the holiday which the kids really wanted to go to. It was really good with a little interactive piece at the start that told you the history of the company followed by a room with lots of toys that you could touch (and sit on) then displays of the toys throughout the ages.

Bavaria 2014 Steiff sewing room

The company was started by Margarete Steiff who was a keen seamstress, she had polio as a child and never married but sewed children’s clothes then made her first toy, an elephant (by accident it was meant to be a pincushion but it got played with!).

She then went on to make teddies and all manner of other creatures. The above photo shows a reproduction of the sewing room that starts the interactive part.

One of the most interesting parts for me as I have been making toys recently (both knitted and have started a couple of fabric ones) was the workroom at the end where as well as staff working demonstrating the toys being made they had lots of patterns hung up and old photos showing the factory workers. There is a concise history of the Steiff business at this link if you are interested.

Bavaria 2014 Steiff patterns 1

Bavaria 2014 Steiff patterns 2

Bavaria 2014 Steiff machinists

Bavaria 2014 Steiff toymakers

Then when we went to Rothenburg we came across this shop selling hand embroidered textiles.

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg embroidery shop

They employ over 500 home workers to do the embroidery so I had to go and support the local economy and all those lovely ladies didn’t I? The kids were very patient while I chose from hundreds of gorgeous things.

I bought these beautiful lavender filled whitework pillows for display in my kitchen and an embroidered runner for the Xmas table. As I reminded Jake I do only have 4 (he seemed to think that was too many last year – no idea why?). This one will go very nicely with my holly decorated dinner set).

Bavarian needlework -whitework 1

Bavarian needlework -whitework

Bavarian needlework -xmas cloth

Rothenburg is also famous for its Christmas shops (which I honestly didn’t know when I booked the trip kids) and so spent ages in the Christmas Village in the Kathe Wolfahrt shop which was amazing! No photos allowed inside but this is from their website and it actually looks like this.

Christmas shop Rothenburg

I bought 2 beautiful lace ornaments for the tree and a little heart that hangs in my kitchen.

Bavarian needlework -xmas ornies

Bavarian needlework - heart

A wonderful array of textile goodness to add to a lovely holiday – very happy.

More pictures to come of the town of Rothenburg, it is still raining here in Yorkshire so no alternative but to spend the day in crafting – how sad ;-)

Thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone

You would think that someone who makes Christmas ornaments nearly all year round and started knitting gifts months ago would be finished well in time for the last posting dates wouldn’t you?

You would not imagine a weekend of frantic finishing and a sudden realisation that one of the bunny gifts does not have any legs at the moment :-(

Only realised yesterday as well that the bag that was going to be given with one of the bunny gifts was still unfinished – oops.

However I am doing well despite the lateness and have the gifts that need to be posted ready to go and will be doing more finishing this week including the legs – was sure I had a whole bag of completed bits but one bunny has had too much Xmas cheer and is legless ha ha :-)

The finished bunny I have named Lucy though she is going to my cousin’s daughter who will name her, hope she likes her as much as the other cousin’s daughter did with the first bunny I made.

I made the bag in the summer – it is made from recycled jeans and a pillow case and it was the colour scheme of the pillow case that inspired Lucy’s 3 dresses.

Lucy Bunny's bag

Lucy Bunny and bag

Lucy Bunny dress 2

Lucy Bunny dress 3

I love the way she has wonky ears, all the bunnies turn out with such different faces. Lucy looks quite serious don’t you think?

Lucy Bunny head

Have also made up all the stitched ornaments into little hanging pillows.These are all JBW Designs from Sew and Sew.

Xmas ornies finished

I have little to excuse myself for this tardiness except the fact that I have been very busy at work and possibly have tried once again to make too much in too short a space of time ;-)

I think when I sort out the craft room in Jan I shall have a noticeboard and will write a list of projects and timescales so I can keep track, especially as I have so much medieval kit to stitch for next season.

Planning not helped by the fact that I have just subscribed to a new magazine called Love Patchwork and Quilting which has given me so many new ideas for things that I want to make.

Love Patchwork magazine

What about this little bird ornament – can you imagine some of those in Christmas fabric?

Love patchwork mag

They have a first 3 issues for £5 deal on their website at the moment and it is a very lovely magazine with links to lots of other lovely blogs.

I have been looking at the work of Amy Smart whose Diary of a Quilter blog is full of lovely, lovely things. So many ideas and so little time!

Anyway back to my finishing now – only 9 days to go till Christmas eek! Thankfully the food shopping is nearly all done so I can concentrate on crafting!

Hope you all have a good lead up to the festive season and thanks for visiting.

Xmas tree 2013

Hello everyone

I now declare the Christmas season well and truly open.The turkey is in the freezer (along with the gammon and beef) the tree is up, most of the cards have been written and I am just frantically finishing off the ornies and gifts to send to family and friends.

You would think that since I make Christmas ornaments nearly all year round there would be no last-minute finishing but despite having done all the stitching and knitting I haven’t quite got around to putting them all together and as they need to go in the post by the end of the week I need to get cracking!

I did quite a bit yesterday while I was doing my stall at the lovely Oakwell Hall Christmas Craft Fair.That is another thing that always makes me feel very Christmassy as I sat and listened to Christmas songs all day and chatted to people about my ornaments.

Xmas craft fair Oakwell

Xmas craft fair Oakwell 2

Xmas craft fair Oakwell 3

I love doing this event ( did not make it last year due to being in China for most of Oct). I did sell lots of things which was great but even nicer were the lovely comments people made and it is very nice to know that my work will be hanging on other people’s trees this year.

There was one very cute little boy who had come to the fair with his grandparents just to buy a nice bauble and he choose one of my favourites from this year’s new stock.

He looked so pleased, bless him, and a little bit later they came back to buy two more ornaments for their other grandchildren so that they wouldn’t be left out!

I also bought this very lovely pine cone from one of the other stalls, it is similar to the ones I make but is made from fabric and very neatly done with little sequins with the pins at the top.

Xmas material cone

There were also these Tudor musicians entertaining us with a variety of instruments, very lovely and made me nostalgic for being in kit!

Xmas Oakwell Hall Craft fair musicians

I have been busy sorting out the menu as well, we are at home all Christmas this year in the lovely new house – a rarity for me as we often go away but we don’t see much of each other now with Ellie at Hardwick and Jake at Uni so we are looking forward to some good food and a catch up. The children are always very appreciative of my home cooking now that they have to cater for themselves :-)

I have been experimenting with bread recipes from my new Paul Hollywood book, here is a rye bread I made with a parmesan and poppy-seed topping – yum yum.

Rye bread

Have lots of other lovely stuff planned to cook, especially on Boxing Day when my brother and sister-in-law come round as they really enjoy cooking and will appreciate my efforts as well.

I have a busy week ahead with 2 Christmas dos, the knitting group when we have a crafty Secret Santa and all come home with a new ornament and a work do with a 50s theme.

Hope you are enjoying the run up to the festive season – don’t forget to comment on my giveaway post as I will be choosing the winner on Friday so that I can get the ornaments in the post in time.

Thanks as always for visiting.

Hello everyone

Hope you are all well and happy. I have been having a very lovely quiet weekend making ornaments for my upcoming craft fair next Sunday and decorating my house.

The tree is up, the baubles are out and all is looking pretty :-) It is a little bit earlier than I normally do it but I am so busy this week and next weekend with various Christmas related things that I thought I would indulge myself (since the kids aren’t here to tell me I am mad lol).

I have taken some pictures of the latest makes – apologies as my camera has run out of batteries and so these are taken on my phone and in not very good light.

The first one is more of the ribbon pine cones that are so pretty and the second picture is of two ribbon tress that I made using the same technique.

Xmas cone ornies

Xmas tree ornies

I have had the polystyrene cones for these for a couple of years but only just got around to making them and they are just for me! I had a lovely day yesterday watching the Doctor Who 50th anniversary programmes while doing these.

Both designs are from Sue Schofield of Springwood House Designs, and are from the book ‘Fun with Ribbons’.

Books and kits and the polystyrene shapes are available from her website as well as oodles of lovely ribbons so go treat yourself and make something nice just for you. It is really easy, no sewing just pinning!

It is also my 6th blogaversary tomorrow so to celebrate I am giving away three of my hand-made Xmas ornaments to one of you lovely people.

Thank you for all your support and appreciation for this blog, it is really nice to know so many people enjoy what I do.

All you have to do is comment on this post – I will pick the winner on Friday 13th December (which will be lucky for someone!)

I will return next week, hopefully after a very successful craft fair, really looking forward to it. I am at Oakwell Hall in West Yorkshire if any of you are in the area.

Thanks for visiting.

Hello there

Sorry for the delay in posting this week, I wanted to show you my latest batch of Christmas ornaments but by the time I had finished making them on Sunday it was so dark I couldn’t take pictures and I have not really seen daylight this week!

However today I am working from home and it is lovely and sunny so have managed to get some shots. Have balanced the baubles on my tea light holders for display purposes in the pictures below!

Nov Xmas ornies

Nov Xmas ornie 2

Nov Xmas ornie 3

I am still really enjoying myself making these lovely baubles, for those of you who have not seen them before the original pattern comes from the very talented Sue at Springwood House Designs (who sells lots of pretty things to make them with) and the book with all the loveliness in is called Decorations to Dazzle.

I first started making these about 6 years ago and I love the creativity of the process, I just surround myself with all my fabric, beads and charms and play!

I am still busy knitting mini stockings for family and friends and adding cute buttons.Had to order some more this week from my favourite supplier Gregory Knopp (just had to, you will understand ;-) ) as I had run out of cute snowflake buttons and got some little reindeer ones as well.

Then I found the box of snowflake ones that had fallen down behind one of the shelves in my craft room. Oh well now have buttons to keep me going for a long time :-)

We had a tiny sprinkling of snow this week and are predicted lots more this winter. I am quite looking forward to it actually, I know it causes chaos but now I am in my lovely new house it is wonderful to see the moors all covered in snow and go and watch people sledging. Besides it gives me an excuse to knit more hats! In between knitting the bunnies.

I am off to see friends this weekend and we will be going to the Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fair which I am very excited about. There will be mulled wine and nice cheese and Christmas ornaments to buy!

Take care, have a nice week and thanks for visiting. I have a blogaversary coming up next week so will be doing my usual giveaway so please come back and enter that.

I have been having a lovely time just recently, my visit to Spain was very nice, hot and sunny and very relaxing.

These are just a couple of the lovely little things from there, pretty flowers on one of my walks and delicious ice cream by the sea.

Spain Nov flowers and ice cream

Spain Nov flowers 2

Spain Nov ice cream

I have also been doing lots of knitting here and in Spain and am very proud to show you these very lovely little Xmas mini stockings that I have made.

Xmas mini stockings

They are from the very talented Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits ( they are one of her free patterns here) and I remember seeing them a few years ago and thinking that I would love to be able to knit them but did not have the skills at the time.

Well I am very pleased to have been able to make them now I have learnt how to do Fair Isle while knitting the bunny dresses.

I have also had a lovely little walk today, would have been longer but I slipped and fell in a large pile of mud so had to cut it short! This was the view of my favourite reservoir from the other side of the valley.

Nov walk on Pule

Hope that you have been having a good time whatever you have been doing and thanks for visiting.

Have spent a lovely weekend catching up, on sleep, on time with old friends and today I will be catching up with the crafting I need to have finished for my Autumn Exchange.

It has been lovely to see my friend Anita, she showed me some of her amazing machine quilting pictures while she was here and I was very excited to learn that she has met Ricky Tims (from the Quilt Show) and knows Melly (from the Melly and me blog) and has quilted an item for her latest book!

We all met up on Friday and spent lots of time looking at old pictures of the kids when they were babies, we have 21 kids between us so lots and lots of memories of good times :-)

I have also been busy with the latest bunny, in between stitching and here are a couple of cute little dresses that I have made.

Blue bunny dresses

I also thought I would show you the latest in my Xmas stitching, these are still to be buttoned and backed but here are some of my fave designs from JBW that I am stitching for relatives this year.

Xmas Wip 1

Xmas Wip 4

Xmas Wip 1

Xmas Wip 2

And I have been experimenting with my bread book, had Anita and friends round for dinner so this was an adaptation of the Stilton and Bacon Rolls recipe with seeds, apologies for the quality of the photo, light not good in the kitchen!

Bread rolls Oct

I will be off to Spain next Saturday (where my mother tells me the temperature has dropped to only 28 degrees) so am planning lots more catching up on sleeping, crafting and reading – the terrace is calling!

Have a nice time whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

Hello there

Apparently it is a mere 3 months till Christmas which is obviously why my local Co-Op has stocked up with the Xmas chocs.

That is maybe slightly more understandable than them selling mince pies with a sell by date of the end of October (although you can of course eat these at any time of year and you might want to train up for a mince-pie eating fest at the actual festive season – who knows).

Us crafty types can be forgiven for getting in the mood early on (I have yet to participate in a Christmas in July event but I am intrigued) however I have made a start on the ornaments that I will be hopefully be selling at craft fairs this year.

I have quite a lot of stock from last year as I did not do my usual Oakwell Hall fair due to going to China but am hoping to do that this year.

I did manage to make these two baubles but sadly had a major malfunction with the rest of the polystyrene balls that I had in my stash which literally fell apart as I was using them hence only two completed :-(

Bauble making Sept

Baubles Sept

I promised you photos of Chesterfield Church that I visited recently when I went to stay with Ellie so here they are.

Chesterfield Church

Chesterfield Church 2

Chesterfield Church 3

Chesterfield Church 4

Chesterfield Church 5

Chesterfield Church 6

The church is famous for its twisted spire as it is made of wood and has warped over the years but I did not realise that it had the amazing effigies and alter art inside.

A beautiful church and well worth a visit.

I have been to our last event of the season – fab times and have lots more pics of loveliness for you which I will post this weekend.

Thank you for visiting.

Hello there

Hope this finds you all well and happy. I have had a lovely time away in Spain with my Mum and have got some fab pics to post of the Easter celebrations there which I will sort for tomorrow.

It has been a wonderfully sunny day today, I have two loads of washing dried on my line and this is in Yorkshire! It is a miracle.

We still have piles of unmelted snow though where we cleared the paths and the road, particularly on my side of the street as this does not get as much sun. It might be gone by May!

Hope this lovely weather continues as I have my first re-enactment event in 2 weeks time and my first camping weekend in 3 weeks – yippee!!!

It seems appropriate to post a picture of the Winter ornament that I made for the Seasonal Exchange  group since the theme of this piece was snowflakes.

The design is a combination of a tree from the Cross Stitch mag from last year that I have made into a tree ornament for me and some snowflakes from the lovely Snow Poem design, once again stitched with Silk Mill thread. This piece is now with Lisa in Australia.

Winter Exchange snow cushion

I am now stitching the Spring Exchange piece and also have been working on some new stock for my stall at Standedge, I found a cute pillow case today in my local charity shop so have been transforming that and some old jeans into a little handbag.

Will post again later this weekend, thanks for visiting.

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